Arch Grants Awards $400,000 in Four Startup Growth Grants

In 2021 Arch Grants awarded a total of $600,000 in "Growth Grants" to startups who had previously relocated to St. Louis startups, seen success and re-committed to building here for another two years.

Before closing out 2021 Arch Grants awarded $400,000 in non-dilutive growth grants to four of its portfolio companies through its Growth Grants program.

Each company has been awarded $100,000 in Growth Grants funds, which must be matched at least two to one by outside funds (equity investments, debt, other grants and/or convertible notes). Here is what the four new recipients of the Growth Grants program had to say about it.

Big Heart Tea Co.

A 2018 Cohort Company, Lisa Govro, is a woman-owned company that makes tasty, sustainable tea using only whole ingredients.

β€œThe Growth Grant will help us increase our sales outreach by allowing us to present at costly trade shows, hire for our sales staff and improve our website’s user experience for sales growth,” said Lisa Govro, Founder and CEO of Big Heart Tea Co. β€œWe’re a St. Louis company and will continue to grow here.”

Native Pet

A 2020 Cohort Company, founded by Daniel Schaefer and Pat Barron, is a pet nutrition and supplements company that is reimagining pet nutrition for a new generation of pet parents.

β€œWe moved back to St. Louis in 2019 and Arch Grants has been critical in navigating the St. Louis community,” said Daniel Schaefer, CEO and Co-Founder of Native Pet. β€œWe are raising our Series A financing round in tandem with our Growth Grant. We plan to scale into new sales channels, hire new employees and invest in marketing and branding.”


A 2020 Cohort Company, founded by Ciara Imani May is a beauty brand that produces plant-based hair extensions and facilitates a recycling program for plastic synthetic hair.

β€œArch Grants has provided a strong foundation for our business in St. Louis and has aided our success,” said Ciara Imani May, Founder and CEO of Rebundle. β€œWe’re excited to expand our reach and impact in the city with the addition of the Growth Grant and know that we can provide greater opportunities with a larger manufacturing facility.”


Swipesum, a 2018 Cohort Company, founded by brothers Michael Seaman and Stephen Seaman, is a payments-technology firm that helps any business accepting credit or debit cards find the best solution at the best rate.

β€œWe are focused on creating a sustainable business that continues to scale at a fast pace,” said Michael Seaman, Co-Founder and CEO of Swipesum. β€œWith our projections, this Growth Grant will fund software development along with a few revenue-generating positions at Swipesum. Following this raise, we forecast it’s the last time we will need outside funding to achieve our growth goals.”

The Terms

The Growth Grants program was launched in 2021 to provide follow-on funding to help Arch Grants Companies that have demonstrated success to hire talent and scale in St. Louis. Any Arch Grants Company that is still operating in St. Louis is eligible to apply, and if awarded, must commit to remaining in St. Louis for at least two years.

Earlier in spring 2021, Arch Grants awarded $200,000 to two additional portfolio companies – Provider Pool and GiftAMeal.

Companies are eligible to apply twice a year (spring and fall rounds) and each Arch Grants Company is only eligible to receive one Growth Grant. Applicants are evaluated by an external panel of 15 to 25 volunteer judges with a wide breadth of expertise.